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Bruins prospect Khokhlachev leaving North America for KHL

Jun 26, 2012, 12:40 PM EDT


There’s a good news, bad news situation at play with Boston Bruins prospect Alex Khokhlachev.

The good? After a second solid season with OHL Windsor, he’ll be in Wilmington this week for Bruins Development camp.

The bad? In the fall, he’s off to Russia.

Joe Haggerty of reports (via the Windsor Star) that Khokhlachev — taken 40th overall by Boston in 2011 — will play with Spartak Moscow of the KHL next season, where he’ll reunite with his father, Igor, who works in Spartak’s front office.

More, from Haggerty, who astutely points out Khokhlachev’s nickname is “Koko”:

Khokhlachev led the Spitfires with 25 goals and 69 points in 56 games last season, and wouldn’t appear to have much to prove at the junior hockey level after two dominant seasons. Essentially, Koko is “in between” being ready to graduate from Canadian junior hockey, and not being old enough to play in the AHL next season as a 19-year-old prospect.

So Khokhlachev will play the season in Russia, and the Bruins retain his rights while having until June 1 next year to sign the talented young forward prospect before losing those rights.

Some will draw comparisons between this situation and the one Washington faces with Evgeni Kuznetsov, but that’s unfair. Khokhlachev really is in bind given his age, whereas Kuznetsov is eschewing the Caps’ minor league system to stay in the KHL.

Should also be noted that, at 19, Khokhlachev will be gaining invaluable experience playing with men at the pro level. Spartak features a few ex-NHLers, like Branko Radivojevic and Shaone Morrisonn.

  1. sergeikremlin - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    As long as he gets significant ice time, this should be good for Khokhlachev’s development (a similar player, Nikita Kucherov, got less than 9 minutes a game when he was up in the KHL this past season, although CSKA is a harder lineup to crack).

    Khokhlachev will be playing a more prominent role on Team Russia at the U-20 WJC this year, against the best players in his age bracket.

  2. travishenryskid - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Kiss him goodbye, he’s not coming back.

  3. ajsjr40 - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    This is exactly why the Bruins tend to prefer North American prospects. The bigger concern would be when Koko goes to Russia, is productive, then needs to sign a contract with the B’s. According to this article one more year and he becomes a FA after that.

  4. danphipps01 - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    Eh. The circumstances are understandable. It makes more sense than playing another year at a level he’s obviously not finding much of a challenge at this point. The KHL is much more appropriate to his skill level.

  5. kcredneck - Jun 26, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    koko? Does Ice -T know he’s having sex with a Russian!

  6. kingfooj - Jun 28, 2012 at 3:15 AM

    Something has to be done about that AHL rule, kids are getting so good in Juniors these days that its actually helping the European leagues with free young talent.

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